High on mushrooms with my best friend on my 22nd birthday, sitting in the dirt, watching him play in the trees on the mountain, all of time seemed to have collapsed on itself, and at the risk of sounding like hocus pocus, everything in material reality seemed like a big inside joke. It seemed obvious to me that our bodies are new, but our souls old, if old is even measurable at all; but that the soul and body are not the same. Faced with the physical reality that is my body; one of a young woman, of what I’ve learned is “classically beautiful”, “striking”, a genetic lottery of sorts, and at the same time, in a constant immune battle against itself and in near daily danger just for existing, just for being a female person, the lesser sex; all things I struggle to consolidate inside myself everyday, I remembered, re~learnt, decided, that my body carries lessons I can learn, this time around. That the vessel I carry doesn’t define me, and doesn’t decide my fate necessarily, but has much to teach, it has much to inform my experience of living, and is an essential tool in my art.
My friend Simona and I went to NYC for reading week (way back in Feb). We walked a lot and also got yelled at on the street, stayed with super sweetheart couch surfers, drank so many fresh juices, went to strange parties, drooled over lofts, danced at cool parties and saw a lot of art. (I had also recently lost my super fave HD Fuji Film camera of many years, these are digital too but I actually think they look a lot like film and I miss my HD.)
El Anutsui’s incredible, completely recycled pieces at the Brooklyn Museum.
Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum.
Unknown/forgot to write it down at The Brooklyn Museum.
yaaaaay Brooklyn! am I in Girls yet am I in Girls yet am I in Girls yet?
Unknown artist at a Chelsea Gallery.
Unknown artist at a Chelsea Gallery.
A Jenny Morgan self portrait at some Chelsea Gallery. I died, couldn’t look away.
Hanging out all night with my friend Matt Donnelly at ‘The Studio’, where he works. (Making outfits for celebrities, props for film sets and costumes for kids birthday parties with billionaire parents, fifty pairs of child sized hobbit feet anyone?)
What I love most about NYC is that it’s like every colour and culture are stacked on top of each other, and the subway, obviously. Speed dating on the L-train, always.
Watching and reading interviews of artists, performers, writers & film makers that I admire.
Mostly so far they’ve been all of George R. R. Martin (the author of the Game of Thrones book series), the Mad Men cast and writer Matthew Weiner, and Lena Dunham (best known as the everything girl for/in GIRLS, HBO).
This was sort of inspired by a comment made by my drawing class profs during a portfolio review in December, which is that I should read about/watch the way that other artists talk about their own work (in that context I think they meant specifically the use of vocabulary choices by female performance artists), saying that I “…don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
This I guess might seem like an obvious concept, and I have of course done some of this in the past, but not much, or perhaps not as much as I need to in the future. I do feel that my artwork and the concepts I’ve explored within it have often come from a very instinctual place, without paying much attention to what has/hasn’t been done before, or if anyone would care. I haven’t even paid much attention to consciously deciding “what kind of artist I wanted to be”, or what sorts of topics I wanted to focus on. Instead I feel that those things have sort of occurred to me “naturally” (I’m anti the word “natural” right now due to large university type analytical discussions about like, society, evolution and alien robot cyborgs, but the word still feels appropriate) — and over time, by way of noticing the patterns in what I keep coming back to, what I’m most fascinated, elated and enraged by.
“Not having to reinvent the wheel” admittedly kind of saddens me in a self indulgent way, but! but! I want people to care about my raw instincts, I want to feel like those feelings are valuable. Except that then I realized why it’s also sort of a huge breakthrough ‘DUH’ moment, it means that I can build my ideas to be so much bigger than they would be if I stayed off the internet alone in my bedroom and did nothing but write. It means that I have friends I have never met, women who died long before I was born but feel kindred to me. People who, without them, the words I use to express my feelings may not even exist at all. And this is so cool! And this makes art, as a whole feel like such a collective effort to me, if we build and expand on what’s already been explored than we’re capable of pushing so may more boundaries than we would be otherwise. DUH
(this is why I’m in art school)
Also more generally, to gain an adept vocabulary knowledge, and because I find it plain old inspiring and encouraging. These are people who have succeeded in fields/areas that I aspire to, and who create incredibly intelligent work, I want to know as much about their thought processes as possible!
some jems I’ve encountered: this interview between Lena Dunham and Miranda July aka lady writer gold, it’s really long and they cover so much, I’m even tempted to read it again but I might get lost for hours.
Also, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart and it’s conflict with the self.” – George R.R. Martin – which makes me go teary
I have also read a lot of TV show reviews lately, often excellent, and often by people who either just sound really bitter or kind of scary, which is especially interesting to see the contrasting perspectives of artists vs. people who talk about art.
So just to end on a terrifying note with this quote:
—In the bad old days, men had to court and marry a woman to get sex. He had to love her. Now, thanks to feminism, women give their bodies first and hope someone eventually will love them afterward. Feminists call this “empowerment.” —
from this terrifying article about GIRLS.
***ohhhh how silly of my to be a feminist, DUH.
Karley Sciortino aka Slutever aka one of my most favorite writers/ bloggers/ artists/ idols/ women ever did an interview with Iris Apfel, possibly one of the most bizarre/ incredible/ wise/ fascinating women ever, for the latest issue of Dazed and Confused. I’m completely obsessed with it, and her, obviously.
-“I absolutely consider fashion a form of art,” smiles Apfel from behind her signature owl-frames. “Of course, there is some fashion that is not art at all – it’s utilitarian, made for the purpose of covering up. And there are a lot of people out there who put a lot of effort into looking awful. But there are also people putting the same amount of energy into making bad art. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”-
-“I always say that my mother worshiped at the altar of the accessory.”-
-“Rei Kawakubo’s work is never funny, but her wit is so ferocious, so elegant, so scary, and sometimes even so ridiculous, that her customers never have buyer’s remorse. How could they feel that they overspent when they look so courageous, cult-like, superior, and even slightly insane every time they get dressed in one of her outfits?”- said John Waters on Commes des Garcons
-She looks down at her tiny frame, lost in a gigantic, electric-pink overcoat. “I mean, look at me, I look like I’m down the rabbithole! But I don’t mind. I don’t think fashion should be taken so seriously. It’s something you should adapt to your mood and spirit.”-
-“…American women are really psychopathic about the way they look…”-
-We worship great artists because of a fundamental belief that the magnificence of a creation reflects a magnificence in its maker. Apfel, in her transcendent style, has made herself into both the artist and the work of art. The painter and the painting.-
You can/should read the full piece/ see the rest of the photos here
Photography by Jeff Bark, styling by Robbie Spencer.
This is almost more exciting than my actual birthday.
Except that this year a friend threw me a 36 (ish) hour long party in a sun haven alternate universe so actually not, but almost!
Here’s the first post I ever wrote.
Check out how drastically my understanding of formatting has improved!
What I actually think this is as exciting as, is a wedding anniversary. Commitment is no simple feat. Only difference is I’m married to my art, and trust me baby it isn’t always easy.
But it’s the looooooooove of my lyyyyyyyyyyyyyyfe!
*I cried all sing song like, and then fell face first out of some romantically decorated balcony, but got right back up and yearned for it all again just the same anyway.
Damnit. You know the feeling?
A friend of mine just posted a link on Twitter yesterday about how people can now legally marry websites. Don’t get weird about it, that’s not what this is!
But perhaps it is more like an anniversary than a birthday after all, maybe, I’m not sure.
*I’m doing a ‘feeling proud of myself dance’ alone in my bed that I share with a pile of rotting leaves and torn up fashion magazines disguised as ‘visual research resources’.
Post haunted house on Saturday: singing Shakespeare in the street, arriving at the IT party while the cops were breaking it up, watching trains (right in front of your face/on the other side of the fence), unnecessarily drinking PBR’s out of to go coffee mugs (public drinking is barely enforced anyway), crashing Halloween (the week long celebration) loft parties based on the lights you can see while passing by warehouses, finding a series of vagina drawings (it was fate!), and making new friends to eat 5am bagels with = ideal evening.
Art that transports you.
Art that puts you on edge.
Art that makes you shudder.
Art that makes you squirm but you still want to look.
And what the value is of this type of work.
The art I make is often incredibly personal.
Often what most people would call, too much, too close, too raw, too intimate.
too too too.
But maybe this means it’s “working”,
because I want to make people feel the way that I feel.
Like so much, so close, so raw, so intimate.
so so so.